Hacking my painting skills

Hacking my painting skills.
Pros and Cons

It’s time to distill some hobby moonshine by breaking down the successes and failures of my previous projects.

Tempest Hawks Primaris Marines

Tempest Hawks Intercessor Squad


  • Yellow helmets and green lenses are very eye catching close up.
  • The white areas stand out due to the darker resesses in the panel lining.
  • Breaking up the backpack with the red helped to keep the illusion of the two colour paint scheme.
  • The plasma effect is solid.
Sadly sitting behind cover and on an objective is their primary use in most games


  • I estimate the layering, panel lining, highlights and freehand took 3 – 4 hours per model. 
  • A quick test of both colour schemes on Instagram showed I gained more likes for a 1-hour-and-done Iron Warrior.
  • The quartered scheme is obscured on the battlefield.
  • The squad marking transfers in all Space Marine boxes are white, if I’d inverted my colour scheme I could have transfers rather than painting the symbol on.
  •  Textured paints are great at quickly basing models that would otherwise require lots of PVA glue and paint but require lots of extra layers when you need to cover a large area.

Blanchitsu Stormcast Eternals

Not pictured: Empty slots for the Silver and Bronze medals


  • Being held accountable and getting a reward (however small) ensured I actually completed the project in the 3-month time span.
  • Spraying Leadbelcher and then using a wash cut with Lahmian Medium worked great in getting a nice metal finish.
  • Small stones glued to the bases helped them stand out.
  • Pigment rubbed into their armour and on their bases made the models stand out for little work.


  • The livery needed an extra colour (possibly gold) to make it really pop.
  • Applying a single coloured pigment over a textured base didn’t work as expected. It needs more layers to work correctly.
  • I still don’t play Age of Sigmar and therefore these models are currently sitting in a box unused.

Sisters of Silence

Yes, I really needed to paint the flamers in a different style 


  • Painting the heads separately worked great.
  • The metal colour came out excellently by just tweaking my original formula and adding purple.
  • Drybrushing the fur part of the cloaks ended up with a really nice effect for little work.
The brown fur took around 20 mins, the purple robes took hours and i’m still not satisfied with it.


  • I needed to paint the flamers in a different colour as they blend into the miniature when viewed from the front.
  • I’m unlikely to ever use these in a game.
  • My bases now look very mundane in comparison to the Stormcast Eternals.
Bonus project: The mini display board I built out of foam board was great. I just need a backdrop.


  • Get a usable army worked out on paper first.
  • Test the colour scheme on spare models.
  • Get feedback from Instagram / Reddit / CMON before moving on.
  • Put models together in sub-assemblies for ease of painting.
  • Apply the base colour with spray cans or an airbrush.
  • Use transfers as much as possible to add details.
  • Apply shading with ninja washes or pigments to save chunks of time.
  • Focus all time-consuming pin washes and edge highlighting only on areas that are going to stand out.
  • Airbrush basic gradients onto large flat surfaces to save even more time.
  • Assemble the bases separately to avoid getting the materials on the miniatures.

The bonus after-credits bit they do in Marvel movies…

Thanks to the Bolter and Chainsword’s Space Marines Painter here and a list of hex codes for all the Citadel Paints here I knocked up a quick prototype of a simple colour scheme that matches my specifications.

Watch this space…

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